Paul O’Grady’s funeral is likely to be a tear-jerking affair, including a guard of honour with dogs from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home to mark the deep affection he had for his furry friends.

The star, whose ITV show For The Love of Dogs was hugely popular, became an ambassador for the charity more than a decade ago, making the honour a fitting tribute.

A fund set up by Battersea following his death pricked public consciences and netted the charity an impressive £270,000.

Paul did his own bit for his four-legged friends too, rehoming no fewer than five dogs during the filming of the show.

Though the star was originally from Merseyside, his funeral procession will take place in what had become his home town – Aldington in Kent.

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Thousands of members of the public who were touched by his TV contributions are expected to line the streets to say a fond farewell to the TV legend as his coffin passes through.

His husband, Andre Portasio, has been an active presence in local Facebook groups and has encouraged mourners and members of the local school to join in today.

“While the funeral will be a private ceremony, as many of you know, Paul cared a lot about his local community,” he explained.

“We have therefore requested that the funeral procession passes through Aldington before heading to the church, as a way of marking Paul’s affection for the area.”

Residents have been asked to stand on Roman Road, Forge Hill or New Road Hill between 2:10 and 2:45pm today to pay their respects.

The Salvation Army Band will be playing as part of the private service, and emotions are sure to run high.

It wasn’t just animals who Paul loved to help, as the openly gay star played his part in nurturing the LGBT+ community throughout his TV reign too.

The presenter, who married his husband back in 2017, has received a nod from equality campaigner and former Labour politician Peter Tatchell, as well as comedian Eddie izzard.

A host of names across the drag world acknowledged him too, remembering his Lily Savage act – and these included the likes of Cheddar Gorgeous and Divina de Campo.

Meanwhile, celebrity friends such as Carol Vorderman spoke fondly of him recently as part of the For The Love of Paul O’Grady television show.

She exclaimed: “He was not only brilliant as an entertainer, he was a force for good.”

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